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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by RBC Capital Markets: CUOMO on Pope Francis -- TRUMP on Colbert -- PREET on the warpath

09/23/2015 07:39AM EDT

By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman

CUOMO ON FRANCIS - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Pope Francis is the "purest" pontiff he's seen within his lifetime. "In some ways, ironically, the pope's message isn't even religious. It is so universal, that it is just humanitarian. It's communitarian. It's help one another. Get along with one another, which is universal," Cuomo said in an interview with NY1's Zack Fink. "The pope is probably in my lifetime the first person who has made it that clear. And the first church official who has spoken to what I believe is the essence of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Without the complications, the bureaucracy, the rules, the sanctions. He is the purest."

The Democratic governor has gone against church teaching in several key areas, including his support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Mario Cuomo, the current governor's father, explained the tension between his support for abortion rights and his Catholic beliefs in a 1984 speech at the University of Notre Dame. "For me there is less tension," Andrew Cuomo said. "My father had a lot tension with the church. And really the earlier generation of Catholic politicians had more tension with the church because the church was trying to tell people, 'You should govern as a Catholic.' And my father and many other Catholic elected officials were saying at the time - no, I live my life as a Catholic, I govern according to the Constitution, the laws and the oath."

-- Watch the interview:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Not every legislative proposal needs to be interpreted as an act of war." -- Councilman Dan Garodnick, respondign to NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton's opposition to his bill requiring tracking of police use-of-force incidents.

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I also made attempts to reach out to this mayor here, de Blasio. Was I able to reach him? No, I was not. ... Why wasn't I able to get an apology from anyone?" -- Nicholas Heyward, Sr., whose son was killed by an NYPD officer during the Giuliani administration. via The Post:

TRAILER OF THE DAY - "Watch Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale And Brad Pitt Battle The American Banks In 'The Big Short' Trailer"

LATE-NIGHT BEST - "Colbert to Trump: You Sound a Lot Like My 'Over-the-Top Conservative' Character" -- 14-min video:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: New York Now host Matt Ryan; longtime government spokeswoman Claudia Hutton ; The Forum Newsgroup publisher Patricia Adams; The New Republic senior editor Jamil Smith; Josh Silverstein, assistant to the president of the Rainforest Alliance

WELCOME HOME: Joe and Rachel Borelli have returned home with their new son, Joe Jr., who arrived at 3:11 a.m. on Sept. 16, weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 ozs.

TABS -- Post: "GOD BLESS AMERICA: Obama greets pop as US visit begins" -- News: "Jester-in-chief: Pope has president in stitches as he starts U.S. visit; No limo for Francis - just a list Fiat" -- Newsday: "I GAVE RECORDS TO D.A." -- amNY: "WELCOME" -- Metro: "Next stop: New York" -- El Diario [translated]: Welcome, in Spanish!

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col., below the fold: "Race and Class Collide in a Plan For Two Schools" -- WSJNY, 4-col. above the fold: "On Traffic, Yield to the Pope"

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SANDRA LEE IS CANCER-FREE - New York Post's Yaron Steinbuch: Sandra Lee is cancer-free. About a month after undergoing surgery, the longtime partner of Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared the good news Tuesday morning in an interview with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America." The 49-year-old Food Network chef celebrated her comeback by attending the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday - wearing a pale pink Thierry Mugler gown that she said she hadn't been able to put on before her surgery. "I couldn't wear it because I was a little bit too big on top, then I turned my mess, as you say, into my message and I got to wear that plunging dress," Lee told Roberts, who also is a breast cancer survivor. She decried the notion that women are defined - to some degree - by their breasts. "Women are not just about their boobs, which is a statement I was making when I wore that dress," Lee said. She said she would wait until February to decide if she'll undergo reconstructive surgery.

-- Here's the full interview:

PREET BHARARA VS. ALBANY - Crain's New York Business' Judith Messina: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has won nine out of 10 cases against a parade of disgraced Albany lawmakers since taking the helm of the Southern District of New York in 2009, prevailing in three trials and garnering six guilty pleas. Now in his crosshairs are two of New York's biggest political animals: former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, whose trials are scheduled to begin in November. Mr. Bharara may also be hunting the biggest game of all in New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom he has criticized for disbanding the Moreland Commission on public corruption. Last week, word broke that Mr. Bharara is investigating $1 billion in funding provided by the governor to help revive Buffalo. Mr. Cuomo said over the weekend that he had no role in awarding the so-called "Buffalo billion" to bidders. "Bharara is on the warpath," said James Cohen, a criminal-defense professor at Fordham University Law School. "He thinks the whole thing is a sewer, and he's in a position to make some change." Despite the notches already on his belt, his crusade against Albany may just be starting. Last January, after filing his initial complaint against Mr. Silver, he held a press conference where he described the alleged schemes in graphic detail and hinted of more indictments to come.

BRATTON PUNCHES BACK -- Commissioner hits at Stringer, Garodnick, Council -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: Police commissioner Bill Bratton criticized City Comptroller Scott Stringer this morning, after Stringer said yesterday he wants to hear plans for how to curb the violence in New York City, rather than a recitation of "politicized statistics" about public safety.

-- Bratton: "To charge that those numbers are politicized - I'm sorry, I tell it like it is," he said. "I see that as an unnecessary attack for political purposes. ... You can attack the mayor all you want, attack me all you want, but don't attack the work of my cops because I'm going to punch back."

-- Stringer: "My comments yesterday were aimed squarely at the steps of City Hall. They reflect what I am hearing from parents and grandparents from all across our city: that statistics alone are cold comfort to communities that face the threat of gun violence - and that a real conversation on real solutions is needed."

-- Bratton also criticized proposed legislation by City Council members Dan Garodnick and Jumaane Williams to better track incidents in which officers use force on suspects. Bratton called it "unnecessary," "micromanaging," and "grandstanding." ...

-- Garodnick: "If he supports the concept, he should support the bills. It's as simple as that. We are happy to work with Mayor de Blasio to ensure that we strike the right balance for the sake of the NYPD and the public."

-- Daily News headline: "Bill Bratton: City Council's move to decriminalize low-level offenses is 'crazy'" --

TURNAROUND -- Bratton backs off call to rip out pedestrian plaza at Times Square -- Crain's Erik Engquist: "[At a] breakfast speech in midtown hosted by the Association for a Better New York, Mr. Bratton said construction of the plazas should continue as a mayoral task force prepares recommendations for managing the area, to be released early next month. 'One of the consensuses emerging is to finish what we started ... to finish the construction as designed with some additional improvements,' the police commissioner said. Those improvements are expected to include restricting certain street entrepreneurs to designated sections of Times Square."

-- Flashback, Sept. 17: "On Thursday, Bratton got further confirmation the plazas would remain intact when a task force de Blasio appointed to examine the problems in Times Square met for the first time."

SUNY POLY TRYING TO ACQUIRE NYSERDA FACILITY FOR $1-POLITICO New York's Scott Waldman: A real estate arm of SUNY Polytechnic Institute is trying to acquire a 280-acre property in Saratoga County from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. But amid reports of subpoenas for the school and greater scrutiny of state contracts, the authority took no action on the issue when its officials met this week. The property transfer price is listed as $1 in a draft contract between NYSERDA and Fuller Road Management Corp., a nonprofit that leases and develops property for SUNY Poly, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO New York. The Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, near the GlobalFoundries chip fab, is approved for 1 million square feet of office, manufacturing and research and development space.

-- Times Union columnist Chris Churchill looks at the overlap between donations by a big Albany developer and construction contracts for SUNY Poly's campus here.

#HILLARYWATCH -- Clinton says she opposes Keystone XL pipeline -- Capital's David Giambusso: After holding back for months, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, a portion of a transcontinental pipeline that would bring oil from Canada's tar sands through the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico. "I oppose it because I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change," Clinton said during a campaign stop in Iowa. Clinton has been under pressure from environmental groups to oppose the pipeline, though she has made climate change a central issue of her candidacy. NBC News has video of Clinton's remarks here:

-- "FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server," by Bloomberg's Del Quentin Wilber: "Once the e-mails have been extracted, a group of agents has been separating personal correspondence and passing along work-related messages to agents leading the investigation."

--"Email woes, Sanders surge rattle Clinton's Hill backers," by Politico's Burgess Everett: "More than 30 Democratic senators have endorsed Clinton ... Though Clinton's camp is pointing to consistent leads in the national polls, ... the feeling in the Capitol is that it may get worse for her before it gets better. But once she hits bottom, Democrats predict Clinton will find her footing and march to the Democratic nomination. 'I believe she's going to be at her best if she does get behind,' said Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill."

PAGE SIX -- "Former first daughter Barbara Bush has a new boyfriend [pingpong master Franck Raharinosy]," by Ian Mohr: "Bush and Raharinosy - a partner in East 23rd Street pingpong club SPiN with Susan Sarandon and her ex-boy toy, Jonathan Bricklin - have been dating for four months, and things have progressed to the point that Barbara's planning to introduce Franck this week to her mother." With pic

TRUMP'S ROOTS: Queens -- Times' Jason Horowitz: "[T]he Jamaica Estates of Mr. Trump's boyhood was an exclusive and nearly all-white place, resistant to outsiders and largely impenetrable to minorities. 'Different parts of Queens were rough; this was an oasis,' Mr. Trump said in an interview. He said Jamaica Estates 'was safe - it was very family oriented.' He recalled taking the F train down the block into the city and called the area a 'microcosm' that gave him perspective on New York and 'what it was all about.'"

STYROBAN -- Judge cites recycling options in overturning foam ban -- POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: Chicken kebabs and Chinese food can remain safely ensconced in beds of polystyrene, after a state Supreme Court justice overturned the city's ban on foam containers Tuesday in a significant reversal for Mayor Bill de Blasio's environmental agenda.

RACE AND CLASS IN TWO BROOKLYN SCHOOLS -- Times' Kate Taylor: "For all its diversity, New York City, by some measures, has one of the most segregated school systems in the country, in part because many elementary schools are effectively closed off to children who live outside their zones. And although the Brooklyn rezoning is mainly a response to crowding, it is becoming a real-life study in the challenges of integrating just one of the city's schools. It is also, perhaps, an unavoidable result of the gentrification in its part of Brooklyn. For many years, the area that came to be named Dumbo, for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, was a decaying industrial district with relatively few families."

GEOTHERMAL CONTROL -- De Blasio administration not fully backing proposal -- POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: Earlier this year, committee chair Costa Constantinides put forth Intro 609, a bill that would require the administration to post information online about the opportunities and benefits of geothermal energy, locations where it is currently in use, the types of buildings where it makes the most sense and the benefits - health or otherwise - of replacing heating and cooling systems with geothermal energy. The bill also would require the city to report on the number of city-owned buildings where geothermal would be most cost-effective and the number of private lots suitable for it.

Administration officials applauded the bill but said some aspects would duplicate efforts already being undertaken and could add significant additional costs for the city without much benefit. For one thing, geothermal energy can never replace fossil fuels completely, administration officials said. "Geologically, there is not enough thermal capacity to supply geothermal energy to a city as dense as New York," Anthony Fiore, from the mayor's Office of Sustainability, said Tuesday.

THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- BLANKFEIN UPBEAT after cancer diagnosis - Politico's Ben White and Nick Gass: "Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs Group for the last decade, announced in an email [to employees] that he has a 'highly curable' form of lymphoma and will undergo chemotherapy treatments over the next several months in New York. Blankfein, who friends say appeared notably thinner in recent weeks, ... was relieved to finally get the diagnosis and begin treatment ... Gary Cohn, Goldman's chief operating officer, ... is expected to ... fill in for Blankfein at events when needed."

MEDIA MORNING -- ", Rock the Vote & Kendall Jenner join forces to boost voter registration" -- Video

OUT AND ABOUT in NYC -- NBC's Dateline toasted to their 24th season with a premiere party bash at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Monday. Dateline's team of correspondents, including Keith Morrison, Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz and Dennis Murphy flew in from across the country to celebrate in style with NBC's Deborah Turness, Lester Holt, Natalie Morales, Gloria Allred, Cy Vance, and many more. Guests mingled with the show's stars, took mug shot photos and received a special sneak-peek of the upcoming season, which premieres Friday at 9 p.m.

REAL ESTATE -- RENEWED HOPE-"As homeless problem persists, city breaks ground on new shelter model," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "The de Blasio administration is beginning to move away from using for-profit homeless shelter providers as it grapples with a wave of homelessness that is both a political and practical concern for the mayor. City officials on Tuesday broke ground on a new type of facility that includes both a homeless shelter and low-income apartments."

TIME OUT-"Bratton drops call to rip out Times Square plazas," by Crain's Erik Enquist: "Times Square's pedestrian plazas can stay, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday. Abandoning his declaration last month that he would prefer to rip out the plazas to make Times Square easier to police, Mr. Bratton acknowledged that stakeholders believe the city should finish building the plazas, which were created by the Bloomberg administration."

BROOKLYN KEEPS PACE-"Major commercial real estate firm to open Brooklyn leasing office," by Crain's Daniel Geiger: "Newmark Grubb Knight Frank will become the city's first large commercial real estate services company to open an office in Brooklyn dedicated to leasing offices to the growing number of businesses moving to the borough. The firm is close to securing an outpost in downtown Brooklyn or Dumbo, said David Falk, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's New York area president. He added that Whitten Morris, a broker most recently with rival firm Cushman & Wakefield, has been hired to lead NGKF's Brooklyn operations."

-- "Gentrification at the Goodwill: Not Even New York's Thrift Stores Are For the Poor." Observer's Kim Velsey:

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Liberty 79, Mystics 74: In the final seconds, Kiah Stokes blocked Ivory Latta's shot, and a raucous Garden crowd that had been standing for the game's final few minutes celebrated the Liberty reaching the Eastern Conference finals.

-- Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4: Greg Bird's home run in the tenth inning brought the Yankees to within 2.5 of the Blue Jays.

-- Braves 6, Mets 2: David Wright homered, but Logan Verrett was merely adequate in his spot start. A Nationals loss reduced the Mets' magic number to six.

-- The day ahead: the Liberty have to turn around and play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Fever at The Garden because of the Pope. The Mets host the Braves. The Yankees are in Toronto.

#UpstateAmerica: The Wal-Mart printer used for hunting licenses has been broken for three days, a resident complained in a Watertown Daily Times letter to the editor.

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